I couldn't resist the royal-tea pun after my brush with royalty this past week. It was the first time I have ever seen any members of the royal family and possibly will be the only time. A friend and I battled the crowds of over enthusiastic elderly royal fanatics, one of whom not only stole our spot but then provided everyone in her vicinity with a running commentary of events AND got on the television news. Have I mentioned before that luck doesn't seem to follow me. Anyhow, we saw Prince Charles and Camilla, albeit fleetingly, and I left feeling satisfied enough to be able to say that I've seen some of the Royal Family.
As the royal car approached the cliches began. The rowers started to row down the river and the little river cruise boats positioned themselves for the photos. It was as if they had rounded up every swan from the river and contained them to just the portion they would see. It made me chuckle as I wondered how annoying it must be for them to go everywhere and have everything constantly be a superficial show. Personally, I'd get tired of it very quickly. You couldn't pay me to be a royal. As the car slowly drove past us we had a peek inside and waved to Charles and Camilla. Something amazed me about seeing them in person; they looked better than on television. In fact, Camilla was a very beautiful woman for someone her age. The car pulled up not far from us and they jumped out and straight away started to shake peoples hands, after all they only had 10 minutes to greet around 500 people. We didn't get a hand shake but that didn't matter to us, we had seen the royals!
Now, on to the tea... Twining's produce a popular black tea blend known as Prince of Wales. The tea is not named after Prince Charles the current Prince of Wales but was named and blended for Prince Edward VIII, the Prince of Wales. You might think you have no idea who he is but really you do. Prince Edward VIII became King of England in 1936. He was King for less than a year due to his abdication involving his relationship with American divorcee Wallis Simpson. There was a recent film about their relationship, W.E, and they featured, well actors playing them, in the fantastic film The King's Speech. When Edward abdicated that meant his younger brother Albert was to become king, which he did. Our current Queen, Elizabeth II, is the daughter of Prince Albert, later known as King George VI. I should add that Prince of Wales is a title given to the person next in line for the throne, so one day you would imagine this title would go to Prince William.
Twining's blended their Prince of Wales tea in the 1920's. It is a mild black tea blend similar to English Breakfast however has a little more of a bold smooth flavour whereas English Breakfast, I feel, has a slightly sweet and smooth flavour. It is a nice afternoon tea. It is a popular blend and is readily available in the supermarket in both tea bags and loose leaf blends. If you enjoy English Breakfast and want a change without wandering too far then this blend fits the bill. Brew this tea at 100 degrees celsius for 2-4 minutes. If you brew for too long it will become bitter and loose it's smooth flavour.
Tea: Twining's Prince of Wales
Store: Most Supermarkets
Comment: A great afternoon tea and a nice alternative to English Breakfast